For more information and a full transcript of this video, check out fun4thedisabled.com. When joining us for this video, you need to take some precautions as your health and safety are the most important. To avoid any injury or harm, you need to check your health with your doctor before exercising. By performing any fitness exercises without supervision like with this video, you are performing them at your own risk. See a fitness professional to give you advice on your exercise form. Strategy for Access Foundation NFP, and BYOM Yoga will not be responsible or liable for any injury or harm you sustain as a result of this video.

Welcome to the adaptive yoga demo. My name is Jackie. I have a company called BYOM yoga out in San Diego, California, and I provide adaptive and accessible yoga for all bodies, all ages and no experience necessary. So, like I said, it’s adaptive yoga for all ages and all bodies. That means you bring your body. We do yoga. Most people think of yoga as kind of this pretzel, bizarre, competitive, got to sweat, got to get down on the floor on a mat. And I am here to tell you that that is not what yoga is. If you were sitting and breathing and being calm and being accepting and loving of your body, you are doing yoga. Anytime that you’re sitting and relaxing and kind of finding a good headspace, if you’re breathing, you’re doing yoga. I do yoga with moms and infants. I do yoga with my 90-year-old dad. It is all yoga. It is not mysticism. It is not religion. Yoga is about the breath and you finding a space in your heart for love and acceptance of yourself and finding peace and ease in your own body.

That doesn’t mean that it can’t be challenging for you to build muscle and strength and endurance. You can absolutely utilize that. In fact, physical therapists use the ancient principles of yoga, same techniques to build strength and rehabilitate you. You’ll find a lot of parallels in that. But when it comes down to it, you finding that quiet time, that space between the thoughts, that’s your yoga. So, you can call it whatever you want. You can call it meditation. You can call it quiet time. You can find yoga when you’re taking a walk, taking a stroll, taking a run, taking a nap, if you’re having, right, if you’ve got the calm in here. So, what we’re gonna do today is practice. And we call it a practice, not a perfect. Practice a little bit of breathing technique, some diaphragmatic breathing, which can be very useful if you’re struggling with any issues in here. And I don’t mean to be presumptive, but most of us struggle with something going on in here, right? Anybody not have stress in their lives, right?

Raise your hand, ’cause I need to be your friend, right? (LAUGHS) So, whether you’re five years old and going to preschool, kindergarten, grammar school, or whether you’re 95 years old and you got the weight of the world on your shoulders, we all have stress. So, what we can do is work on a little breathing technique. This one is probably 13 years old. It has been through sixth graders. It has been smashed, left in the sun. It was 30 bucks. It has lasted forever. So, we’re gonna hold the red parts, sit up as tall as you can in your body. And just take a notice of feeling in your place. Right. You’re just feeling in your place. A lot of times, we end up somewhere in our body and our brain is still way somewhere else. So, just for a moment, we know we’re in Schaumburg, we’re in the convention center, we’re in this room, we’re sitting in a yoga demo. What does that mean? It just means we’re gonna breathe. Take a deep breath in through your nose if you can. If it’s stuffy, use your mouth.

And if you’ve got a ball, open it. And if you don’t have a ball, you’re gonna pretend by opening your hands. Big breath in through the nose. (BREATHES IN HEAVILY) And then a big breath out through the nose. (BREATHES OUT HEAVILY) Big breath in through the nose. Big breath out through the nose. Yeah, it takes a second for it to close. Slower you go, the more you might feel like you’re on a raft or a boat. I hope you don’t get seasick. Big breath in through the nose. Big breath out through the nose. If you don’t have a sphere, you use your hands. In through the nose. Out through the nose. You continue and I’ll guide you through this. The breath is rising in the body, filling the belly. And as you exhale, you relax a little. Maybe the shoulders start to drop away from your ears. Your face feels soft and supple, like the tide coming into the shore, smoothing the sand. Excellent. Come on in and you can use one of these balls. Please feel welcome. And exhale. Breathe in. And breathe out. Freedom of movement of the breath, bringing in joy and acceptance and love.

And the exhale washing away the tension, like opening the windows on a spring day, allowing to move out anything you’re not needing in this moment. See if maybe you feel a little less stressed just in this minute. Putting some space between what we were doing and what we’re going to do. Carving out a little quiet time, even though there’s all this stuff going on around us, just for a second. We were just here in our own minds. If you’re comfortable, allow your eyelids to drop. Place your hands over your heart. Take a deep breath into the space under your hands and exhale again. Maybe the corners of your mouth lifted a little smile and blink your eyes open. It’s our quickie little breathing break. You can take your little ball if you’re a… And put it down on the ground next to you. We’re gonna do a little stretching. Let’s take some weight off our shoulders. So, the thing in yoga, I’d like to call it Jewish yoga, ’cause if it hurts, you don’t have to do it. It’s nice, right? So, there you go.

You’re gonna roll your shoulders the best you can Take ’em back. Take them back. Take ’em back. We tend to spend a lot of time doing this. Let’s undo that. Roll the shoulders. Sometimes the shoulders are uneven due to skeletal or muscular issues. So, maybe we give them both ample opportunity to move and then swim them forwards, swim them forwards. Try to use any muscles you got around the shoulders as long as it doesn’t hurt. Let them rest. Right? And if you don’t move those muscles a lot, they might feel tired right now. Right? We’re experimenting. We’re checking in with body parts. We might not tap into that often. See if you can  tick tock your head a little bit to the side. We’re not trying to force it. Heads are heavy. They’re filled with a lot of good stuff. Let it stay there and then roll your chin very carefully down towards your chest. If you’ve got a trach tube, if you’ve got any breathing assisting devices and this is uncomfortable, don’t do it. Roll your head back over to the same shoulder and then help it up.

Help it up. You’d help a friend. Help yourself. A lot of times, we’re really hard on our own body when we would never be that critical to a friend. Drop your head a little bit to the other side. And just notice if you feel any stretch. Sometimes I sleep on the side and I have a crick in my neck and I spend the whole day feeling grumpy. And I never think, you know, I could probably stretch this. Roll the chin to your chest. Very slowly roll it back to the shoulder and lift it up. Alright. Take one finger, put it on your chin dimple. And push your chin back in space, creating a triple chin. It’s cool we all have it now. Look around, make a silly face and then release your chin. Lift your…


I know, right? Thank you. (LAUGHS) Lift your eyebrows, but not your eyes. Get surprised if you can. Right. And now, keep your eyebrows steady but lift your eyes. Look at the ceiling. Right. Like we’re all teenagers, like whatever. Now, look at your nose. It’s strengthening our eye muscles. And yeah, that’s part of the practice. Now, look towards 3:00 without turning your head. Look towards 9:00 without turning your head. Then bring it back to center. Now, squeeze your eyes closed and then relax your face and slowly open your eyes, right, eye yoga. Right. Now, we’re gonna do a little work for our jaw. One of the things we don’t wanna do in yoga is clench our  jaw because we probably spend a lot of time with the jaw clenched. So, take your fingers if you can and put them right at that part where your two jaw pieces come together. Right. There’s a muscle there. In fact, if you bite down like you’re chewing gum, you can feel it get tense. Right. So, you wanna make sure that space feels open.

And then open your lower jaw, right, like a snake,  Aaaaaaaah. And stick your tongue out. Drool on yourself ’cause that always happens. And then slowly close it. Alright. It feels a little better already. Tension is gone. We store tension there. Right?  (Growling noise) Mammals, we chew. Right. Right. Roll one shoulder back and turn to look in that direction. We’re gonna hold here. We don’t wanna feel pain in the back. We want this to feel strong in our belly. If you’ve got issues with your back, you’re gonna move less. Let’s turn back to the front and go the other way. Roll the shoulder back. Let the heart follow. And come back to center. Let’s go back. Roll that shoulder back. Maybe the hand goes with, then comes to the side of the chair. Maybe the other arm reaches to a cat disposition or straight up to the sky. Feel the stretch on that side of the body. Takes a little extra energy here. So, if your energy level isn’t up for it, you bring it down. You match what your body needs. Come back to the center.

Right. I’m gonna take that Nike logo and say, “No pain, no pain.” Right. Roll that shoulder back. If it’s feeling good, take the arm up. When we take our arms up, we open up our breathing tubes. Gives us more room. Give our body an opportunity to stretch. A lot of times as adults, we don’t take our arms up. Kids, you guys have your arms up all the time in school. Bring the arm down, turn forward. Facing forward. Hi. Roll on in. Take one arm up. Right. Maybe tap the back of your head and see if you can send the elbow up. Get a little stretch. I call this. Right. Raise up your arms if you’re sure, pose. It’s an old commercial. Then bring it down. I’m seeing yawning. That means you’re relaxing. Take the other arm up. And remember the rule. You weren’t here for the rule. If it hurts, don’t do it. And then take the hand at the back of your head and see if you can send the elbow up. Notice where you feel the stretch. Yeah. So, sometimes they’ll say, how do you feel? I like to say where and what do you feel?

Those are two really important things, right? Is it in the shoulder? And is it a sharp shooting pain? Get that arm down. Is it a nice warm stretch in this part of the arm? Enjoy it. Bring it on down. Maybe your shoulders feel good enough to go both arms up. If you take both arms up and it hurts your back, stop doing it. Do one at a time. Maybe you pat yourself on the back and bring the elbows forward. And you think of two nice things to say about yourself. Like, I have awesome fashion sense. I have nice teeth. I’m a good friend. I can make nice cookies. Just two things you think to yourself. Put those in your toolkit for affirmations. Bring ’em down. Right. The more we take our arms up, the higher our heart rate gets. It’s good, best. Cardiovascular work as well. Walk your hands forward on your lap. Lean your heart forward a little bit. Check into how your back feels. If you’re good to go, see if your elbows come down. If you’ve got issues with your low back, you’re not gonna go any lower.

Breathing gets a little tight in the belly area here. We wanna make room for our flesh. You may if there’s room, take your feet a little bit further apart. If your feet are on paddles and you can’t do that, you’re gonna stay partway forward. Try and lengthen your ribcage away from your hips. Right. Make more space for breathing rather than less. Right. We’re working our back muscles, making them stronger. And then to come up, let’s push down into the earth and lift up. Right. Let’s use gravity. A lot of times we’re like, ugh, gravity, whatever. It’s making me feel heavy. If we build our muscular strength, we’re using gravity, turning it into our friend. Right. Wherever you’re positioned, see if you can stretch one leg a little bit forward. I’m gonna come around for those that are in support systems and give them a block to put their feet on. So, we’re making this extremely accessible so we don’t wanna lock our leg out, but we do want it feeling like we’re putting some effort into it and it’s resting on the floor.

Right. It looks like a ski ramp. Take the same side arm and raise it up. Wave to your friends, hello. Take that hand. Now, put it on the opposite leg and lean forward a little, a little. So, that foot should be on, on the chair. Yeah. Yeah. So, you need a base and you’re leaning forward and you may notice a stretch in the back of the straight leg. That’s what we’re looking for. Stretching them. Yeah. So, we have our base, which is our bent leg and a stretch. So, they call this the seated half splits. Congratulations. Today, we’re doing the splits. Breathe in, try and get taller. Breathe out. See if you feel a stretch anywhere. This is a great stretch to do before bed, especially if you get leg cramps, ’cause it opens up the back of the leg, the calf and the hamstring, and even will help ease stretching and any cramping that you get on your low back. To come out of this to make sure that you don’t create any issues with your back, we’re gonna walk our hands up our own thigh, King Kong climb up.

And then you’re gonna take the leg that’s extended and I’m gonna even show I’m gonna take that leg and I’m gonna place it back on the floor of my paddle. Then we’re gonna switch which leg we’re stretching. Right. So, move that block on over or have somebody give you a hand. The heel goes down and the toe goes up. We try and get our back nice and straight. So, we don’t have to work that hard. We don’t have to cheerly jump into a splits. It helps to have a nice seat sitting up nice and tall. And again, we got this straight leg. We take the same side arm. We wave hello to a friend. And that hand comes down on the bent knee. We lead with our heart. Imagine how our lives would be. Imagine how the whole world would be if everybody led from the heart instead of the head. Just leave that thought right there. A heart-centered world is a beautiful idea. And again, notice where you feel any stretch and what you feel. Is it a warm sensation? Right. Is it a moving sensation? Can you continue to breathe long and full?

Remember, if you can’t breathe, you need to move away from what you’re doing. (BREATHES HEAVILY)  This is something you could do sitting on the edge of the bed. Let’s press our hands into the bent knee leg and lift up slowly with strength. Walk our hands back. It’s a beautiful single-leg stretch. Both feet will be on something solid and then lift your heels up. Feel your calf muscles engage and drop ’em down. Yeah. And then see if you can lift your toes up. It can be an issue. If the shin muscles, if your anterior tibialis aren’t working well. And that’s OK. Just a little toga, little toe yoga. Heels up and then toes up. Heels up and then toes up. And if the heels and the toes aren’t listening, you can lift the fingers up and the palms up instead. Right. Fingers and palms. There you go. It counts. Fingers up and palms up work just the same. You can do both. If you really wanna go for the coordination, try here, hands and feet together. We adapt. Right? We’re yogis. We adapt. Get a little wiggle there.

Especially since we kept our foot in that lifted position for so long, we just, we might have a cramp. We wanna avoid that. Alright, I’m gonna do one more. We’re gonna do I call it the cheek sneak, the cheek sneak. It’s also called the chair wiggle. So, you’re gonna wiggle your tush in the chair. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. If you got your tush wiggle good, down good. So, at the bottom of our bottom are two things called the sit bones. You may have heard ’em called sit bones. Their actual name is the ischial tuberosities. Right. I know it’s a big, long medical name. So, you’re gonna think about those. And you’re gonna imagine somebody’s got $100 bill and they wanna slide it under one side of your butt. And you’re gonna think about lifting it up and putting it down, but not so much that you fall out of your chair ’cause falling is not an option. (LAUGHS) Right. And then so it’s a slow wiggle lift and lower lift and lower lift and lower lift and lower. Right. Like you’re wiggling in slow motion the best you can.

You don’t actually have to get air here. We’re not doing a Michael Jordan thing, just a wiggle. We’re strengthening the muscles in our core. No sit-ups required. It’s the anti-sit-up. I love that. I know. Thumbs up on the anti-sit-up. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, and never so much that you’re gonna slide out of your chair. Right. And then front to back. Right. Just like you’re trying to get comfortable. You’re like, ah, front to back a little bit, just wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. Like you’re in the sand trying to make a nest. Alright. And then pause. Yeah. Get- you can chair dance. It’s also chair dancing. Right. And it can be tiring. And then we’re gonna stretch one arm up, slow inhale and exhale, and then inhale and exhale. So, now, we’re stretching out all those muscles that we just made work. Inhale and exhale. And inhale hello. Exhale. You guys can high-five when you inhale and exhale. Right. You can lean towards each other. (LAUGHS) And yeah, if you’ve got a friend, I always recommend high-fiving when you lean towards them.

And then inhale and exhale. Next time you go to one side, take the free hand and put it on the chair and hold as long as it feels like a good stretch. And then you wanna breathe into the whole side of your body, like imagine you could draw lines and send the breath there. Make your side body the breathing ball. One more breath. Bring that arm down. Yeah. Right. If your fingers started to get tingly, you might be you have a tight fit in your shoulder. You just don’t have to go as far. Roll out your wrist. Let’s go to the other side. Lift and lengthen. (BREATHES HEAVILY) Exhale. Find your stretch. Breathe into your ribs like they’re, like they’re blinds in a window and they’re opening up to let some more air in. Pull your shoulders away from your ears. (BREATHES HEAVILY) Your muscles are supporting your joints. (BREATHES HEAVILY) We’re using gravity. Right. It’s not using us. We’re using it. Come on up. (BREATHES HEAVILY) And then the best part of class, scooch on back in your chair. Get yourself comfortable.

If you have a block, you are free to put your feet up on it to rest ’cause having your knees bent like this isn’t necessarily calm. Yeah. You can put it up like it’s a footstool. Well, you can I call this slouch-asana. Turn your hands up on your lap. Drop your shoulders. I know it’s noisy here. We don’t necessarily feel relaxed. But if you’d like, let your eyes close. And we’re gonna do three of those deep breaths again. Inhale slowly through the nose. Exhale out through the nose. You have no obligation to think about anything. This is your time. And darn it. You deserve it. We say thank you to our bodies for all that they do. And we offer them support and love and forgiveness for anything that they didn’t do. And we’ll take 30 seconds here with my voice turned off, feeling the breeze on our skin and allowing our flesh to be smooth and letting the chairs hold us up, being beautiful beings in gratitude. Now, wiggle your fingers. And then if you can, wiggle your toes or imagine the wiggling.

And then bring the feet back underneath the knees. Use the hands in the chair to help press yourself to an upright position. So, you’re safe in your chair. And if you’re OK, keeping your eyes closed for one more moment, take your palms together and rub them, create a little bit of heat for your own body. This is your magic. This is your magic power. Make heat between your hands. And then place your hands across your heart. (BREATHES HEAVILY) We have gratitude for our own bodies. And then we have gratitude for the opportunity to be here together, to be a little vulnerable, to try something new. And then we let our eyes flutter open. Maybe we’re smiling, noticing if we feel different than we did a half hour ago. In the tradition of yoga, we thank each other for participating together. And the word that we use as a thank you is namaste. It means I bow to you. And so, for that I say, namaste. Thank you so much for taking a chance and coming to join me today. (APPLAUD). I’m so grateful. That is a yoga practice, you guys.

So, take that information with you however you like. Practice it at home. See if it makes a difference for you. I have lots of free yoga online. I will give you my card. I have like 60 classes that are all chair based. And you’re welcome to use them at your leisure. If anybody needs them, they wanted to license them for use with a group, you’re more than welcome to reach out to me. Right now they are available for free. I’ve got kids classes that have crafts, I have teens, I have adults, I have special needs for folks where we use a lot more props. So, I’m more than happy to share those with you. I am San Diego based, but I travel out to Chicago quite often. I do have other props if you wanna check out the props and I’m open for questions. So, I know they have another demo coming in. We can move to the side. I’d like to thank Vanessa for recording this, Fun4theDisabled and for the Expo for having me out again. And you guys for, for coming out. So, thank you again. (JACKIE GADD APPLAUDS)

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